I got your text message yesterday about how to vote for the propositions, specifically whether you should vote against Proposition 8 to make a point to the conservatives. I do not really feel passionate or know enough about any of the other propositions really to sway you any way except to reassure you that you should vote no on Proposition 8.
It seems like the biggest arguments against allowing gay marriage has been that it "undermines the value of marriage altogether at a time when we should be restoring marriage, not undermining it." (Yes on 8 website) From my summer in California and dabbling in family law, it seemed like the status of marriage had not changed since before California Court allowed gay marriages. Straight couples still got married, and still got divorced. No one in their divorce papers cited the fact that gay people got married as the reason why their marriage was dissolving. So I have yet to see how giving two men or two women the opportunity to marry really undermines a man and woman marrying.
The other main argument in favor of Proposition 8 is that "because public schools are already required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum, schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergartners." Interestingly the Orange County Register, the Department of Education lawyers, and the courts have all stated that this is simply not true.
This whole notion of preserving marriage is actually funny to me as a law student because I have learned that what marriage is now is a lot more progressive than what it used to be, even just a few decades ago. Before, wives in a marriage had very few rights when it came to owning property, inheriting from wills, and even making contracts on their own. Something that our family can relate to more is the fact that interracial marriages were outlawed not long ago. But the laws changed for the better, in my opinion, and this is just the next step in the law.
I also find it interesting how fervently the churches are pushing Proposition 8. Mom told me that the priest was giving a sermon against gay marriage, even though this proposition would not force any church to recognize them. While I understand why the church wants to stand up for their beliefs, it is intriguing how many churches do not speak out as loudly against the death penalty, the war, corporate greed, or torture. I know where they stand on it; they just do not use the same pulpit against these issues.
Especially after going to a few weddings this year and watching others get engaged, I see how important marriage is to a relationship for many people. I could just not imagine how some of my friends could have this, but others could not because of who they are and who they love.
So yeah, there is my long answer for you. Vote no not just to send a message, but vote no on Proposition 8 because the proposition is wrong. I actually assumed that you would probably vote no anyway, but it was my excuse to write out what I was already going to blog about. Tell mom I say hi and rock the vote.